In November 2016, HACSU launched our very important campaign for a Portable Long Service Leave scheme, to cover workers in aged care, disability and community services, contract cleaning and security.
Our campaign, run jointly with United Voice, addresses a very big problem. Workers in these industries are, more often than not, unable to access long service leave because they have changed employers. There are countless reasons for workers changing employers. In these casualised industries, often you need more than one job just to make ends meet. In many cases, members have had no choice but to change jobs to continue to have meaningful and regular work.
Here’s an example: a client or their guardian chooses to change their service provider. The client is keen to keep but the same support worker or carer, but the worker can only stay with their client by changing their employer. The worker decides to move to a new organisation to provide continuity of care to their client – but they lose all of their entitlements, including their long service leave accrual.
With the roll-out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme, and with further changes to consumer choice in the aged care sector, this situation is far from uncommon. And it’s just one of many scenarios that lead to workers changing employers. There is a very urgent need for a Portable Long Service Leave scheme to provide these workers due recognition and reward for their time spent in their industry. The scheme will also provide for the sector to keep its most loyal, best and brightest employees. HACSU and United Voice members are standing together in this campaign as we call on the Tasmanian Government to follow in the footsteps of the ACT and the Tasmanian building industry, and implement a Portable Long Service Leave scheme for our industries. So far, we have heard many stories from members about their time spent in community and disability services and in aged care without achieving long service leave.
We’ve listened to members who have said that they are physically and mentally exhausted from doing the job that they love, but after 20 years they still have been unable to access long service leave.